is divided into forty-one counties (judete), as well as the municipality
of Bucharest (Bucuresti), which is its own administrative unit.
Each county is administered by a county council (consiliu judetean),
responsible for local affairs, as well as a prefect, who is appointed
by the central government but cannot be a member of any political
party. In alphabetical order, the counties are:
the county structure, Romania is also divided into eight development
regions, which correspond to NUTS-II divisions in the European Union,
but which have no administrative capacity and are instead used for
co-ordinating regional development projects and statistical purposes.
The country is further subdivided into 2686 communes, which are
rural localities, and 265 towns. Communes and towns have their own
local councils and are headed by a mayor (primar). Larger and more
urbanised towns gain the status of municipality, which gives them
greater administrative power over local affairs.
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest,
the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the
fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed
into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites
of Bucharest. The gentrification of the county is continuing, with
many towns in Ilfov, such as Otopeni, having higher some of the
highest GDP per capita levels in the country.
It has a population (excluding Bucharest) of 300,123. The population
density is 188 per km². 40% of the population commutes and
works in Bucharest, although in recent years, many industrial plants
were built outside Bucharest, in Ilfov county.
It has an annual growth of about 4%.
Romanians - 96.05%
Romas 3.66%, and other
Year County population
The county has an area of 1,583 km² and it is situated in the
Romanian Plain between the Arges River and the Ialomita River.
The main rivers that pass through the county
are: Dâmbovita River, Colentina River and Gruiu River. Several
lakes can be found in Ilfov county, notably Cernica, Snagov Lake
and Caldarusani Lake.
- Ialomita County and
Calarasi County county in the East.
- Dâmbovita County in the West.
- Prahova County in the North.
- Giurgiu County in the South and East.
The base occupation used to be the agriculture.
Nowadays, due to the economical growth in Bucharest, many companies
have opened their offices, production facilities or warehouses in
the nearby villages, situated in the Ilfov County, thus making it
the most developed county in Romania.
The predominant industries in the county are:
- Food and beverages industry
- Textile industry
- Mechanical components industry
- Chemical industry
- Paper industry
- Furniture industry
- Rubber industry
- Electrical equipments industry
- Transport equipment industry
- Electronic and optical equipment
At Otopeni there is the main aerial transport
hub in Romania - the Henri Coanda International Airport. Also all
the main roads and railways leaving Bucharest pass through the county.
The county has a large surface covered with forests
and also due to its lakes, it is a frequent week-end and holiday
destinations for the inhabitants of Bucharest.
Other notable touristic sites are:
- The Snagov Monastery
- The Cernica Monastery
- The Mogosoaia Palace
- The Caldarusani Monastery
- The Ghica family palace in Moara Vlasiei
- The Stirbei Palace in Buftea
Most of today's Ilfov County used to be covered
by Codrii Vlasiei, a thick forest, but there were several Dacian
settlements, most important being Argedava, on the right bank of
the Arges River in what is now Popesti, which was the capital of
The thick forests were useful for retreat during
the migration age because they were not easy to cross on horseback.
In fact, the name of the forest means "the Forests of the Vlachs"
(Romanians), a name given by the Slavs who inhabited the nearby
The county was named after the Ilfov river
and it is of Slavic origin, being composed from "Ilf"
(a name?) and suffix "-ov" and it appears for the first
time in a 1482 donation act of voivode Vlad Calugarul to the monastery
The county has 8 towns and 31 communes.
There are serious debates about the city level
awarded to Voluntari, as it is alleged that it was given in regard
to the city's political affiliation, rather than population, development
or any other objective features. Despite this, Voluntari does have
a population of 15,000, and many other localities with this population
have been given city-status in the past.
Before 1972, it used to be one of the largest
counties of Romania, but parts of it were added to neighbouring
counties and nowadays it is the smallest (excluding the city of
Bucharest, which has a special status). Between 1981 and 1997, it
was called "Sectorul Agricol Ilfov" and it was not a separate
county, but subordinate to the capital.
- Moara Vlasiei
- Otopeni (town status)
- Stefanestii de Jos
- Voluntari (town status)
- Buftea (town status)
- Chitila (town status)
- Dragomiresti Vale
- Pantelimon (town status)
- Bragadiru (town status)
- Popesti-Leordeni (town status)
- Magurele (town status)
- 1 Decembrie
There is no capital of the Ilfov county. Most of the county's institutions
are located in Bucharest, some being located in Otopeni, others
in Buftea. There is a struggle for both towns to be named county
capital, one boasting its development and resources (Otopeni has
the biggest income per capita in Romania and the biggest airport
in the country), the other population and surface. This rivalry
is fairly recent, since Ilfov used to be mainly rural and relatively
poor in the past decades, and therefore Bucharest was seen as its
main administrative centre. Nowadays, with a unique political identity
being given to Ilfov, an identity that is separate to Bucharest,
it is likely that a fixed capital city will be determined for Ilfov.
Buftea is the most likely candidate because it is further from Bucharest
and less associated with the city, whereas Otopeni is commonly seen
as a suburb of Bucharest, and it would therefore be problematic
to have the capital so close to the national capital, Bucharest.
However, in 2005, there were proposed some plans
of merging Bucharest with other 90 communes located to up to 40
km outside the city, in the Ilfov county and other nearby counties
into a "metropolitan area" of Bucharest.